Nutrition Advocacy in California

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Nutrition Advocacy in California

  1. 1. NUTRITION ADVOCACY Impacting State and Federal Nutrition Policy: Advocacy to bring nutritious and affordable food to low-income people Cathy Hsu, MS, RD California Food Policy Advocates August 10, 2009
  2. 2. What is Nutrition Advocacy? <ul><li>To advocate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verb: to speak, plead or argue in favor for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I advocate for good nutrition in California. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To be an advocate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Noun: one that argues for a cause, a supporter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I am a nutrition advocate. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Noun: one that pleads on another’s behalf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I am also an advocate for low-income Californians. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Nutrients are expensive. Calories are not. <ul><li>Low nutrient density, 2000 kcal </li></ul><ul><li>High nutrient density, 2000 kcal </li></ul>$3.52 $36.32 Monsivais, P. and Drewnowski, A. 2007. The Rising Cost of Low-Energy-Density Foods. Journal of American Dietetic Association 107:2071-2076.
  4. 4. Low income, nutrition, and health <ul><li>Average American spends $7/day on food </li></ul><ul><li>Low-income American spends $4/day on food </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals and families with low-income </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller portion of household budget for food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Options for food purchase and consumption: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small amount of mediocre nutritional quality food </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very small amount of high nutritional quality food </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Large amount of low nutritional quality food </li></ul></ul></ul>Hunger Hunger Satiety Malnutrition Malnutrition Obesity Monsivais, P. and Drewnowski, A. 2007. The Rising Cost of Low-Energy-Density Foods. Journal of American Dietetic Association 107:2071-2076. Malnutrition
  5. 5. California Food Policy Advocates <ul><li>“… a statewide public policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low-income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious and affordable food.” </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on legislation of government nutrition programs: </li></ul><ul><li>Food Stamp Program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) </li></ul><ul><li>School Breakfast and Lunch Program </li></ul><ul><li>Child and Adult Care Food Program </li></ul><ul><li>Make laws to increase access to programs and improve quality of food in programs </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Food Stamp Program <ul><li>Food assistance program for low-income households </li></ul><ul><li>To be eligible: 130% Federal Poverty Level </li></ul><ul><li>Plus many other eligibility rules… </li></ul>Persons in Family Monthly Income Annual Income 1 $1,178 $14,131 2 1,585 19,019 3 1,993 23,907 4 2,400 28,795 5 2,807 33,683 6 3,215 38,571
  7. 7. The Food Stamp Program <ul><li>Once eligible, an amount of benefit is calculated based on income and household expenses. </li></ul><ul><li>The benefit is meant to be supplemental. </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Benefit Transfer(EBT) card </li></ul><ul><li>used to deliver the benefit. </li></ul><ul><li>Government pays for the benefit. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Legislation on Food Stamp Program <ul><li>Problem: People need it, but can’t enroll. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve access: Change eligibility rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not eligible if own a car </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not eligible if have savings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must have face-to-face interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must have all adults fingerprinted </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Legislation on Food Stamp Program <ul><li>Problem: Even with the EBT card, it is hard to afford healthy food at the grocery store. Nutritional quality of food purchased is low. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve quality: Incentivize healthy food purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Food Purchase Pilot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial incentive to purchase healthy food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver through the EBT card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create financial ability to purchase healthy food </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Healthy Food Purchase Pilot
  11. 11. School Breakfast and Lunch Program <ul><li>Public schools all serve lunch; some serve breakfast. </li></ul><ul><li>If the family has low income, they can enroll child. </li></ul><ul><li>Child receives meals for free or reduced price. </li></ul><ul><li>Government reimburses school at a fixed rate. </li></ul>Breakfast Lunch Free $1.74 $2.70 Reduced Price $1.44 $2.30
  12. 12. Legislation on School Meal Program <ul><li>Problem: Too much paperwork, kids don’t enroll. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve access: Automatic enrollment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If family is in Food Stamp Program, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>student enrolled in free meals at school. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces duplicative process of verifying income </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Legislation on School Meal Program <ul><li>Problem: Nutritional quality of meals is not good. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve quality: Implement nutrition standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No trans fats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Align with new Dietary Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To improve quality: Increase meal reimbursement </li></ul>
  14. 14. Child and Adult Care Food Program <ul><li>Child care centers serve meals to children while parents are working. </li></ul><ul><li>If serve low income communities, they can apply to get reimbursements for meals served. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Legislation on Child Care Meals <ul><li>Problem: Nutrition quality is poor. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve quality: Implement nutrition standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No deep frying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve fruit or vegetable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lean meats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No sugary cereals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To improve quality: </li></ul><ul><li>Increase meal reimbursement </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why Change through Legislation? <ul><li>Legislation leads to widespread change. </li></ul><ul><li>The change is mandatory. </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory, widespread change has large impact on population public health. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, goal is to improve health. </li></ul>
  17. 17. What about Japan? <ul><li>Does Japan have laws or programs that impact public health or nutrition? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they impact public health and nutrition for better or for worse? </li></ul><ul><li>How can they be improved? </li></ul>
  18. 18. What about Japan? <ul><li>Are there unresolved or emerging public health nutrition problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Are certain subpopulations more affected by these problems than the general public? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? What is the root of the problem? </li></ul>
  19. 19. What about Japan? <ul><li>How could you affect the root of the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>Modify an existing law or program? </li></ul><ul><li>Create a new law or program? </li></ul><ul><li>You are only limited by your own creativity. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Thank you for your attention! <ul><li>Cathy Hsu, MS, RD </li></ul><ul><li>California Food Policy Advocates </li></ul><ul><li>Oakland, CA </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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